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FFAR award amount $612,257
Year Awarded 2021
Total award amount $800,000
Location St. Paul, MN
Matching Funders Benson Hill, Keygene, Syngenta, University of Minnesota
Program Plant Protein Enhancement Project
Plant protein is an important part of the global diet, but there are barriers limiting plant protein’s potential. Some amino acids, which are essential to diets, are missing or less abundant in plant protein. Also, a popular plant protein, soy, is an allergen for many. One alternative to soy is pea protein, but its nutritional value lags soy. University of Minnesota researchers are studying pea protein, develop methods for screening peas with superior protein nutrition and quality and breed these traits to cultivated peas.
FFAR award amount $189,794
Total award amount $760,271
Location Ithaca, NY
FFAR invests in a range of research technologies, including projects that use biotechnology and gene editing to make agriculture more sustainable, protect biodiversity and ensure that the world has sufficient food to feed a growing population. Through this award, the Alliance for Science, a global communications initiative, is amplifying FFAR-funded research and programs.
FFAR award amount $664,000
Total award amount $739,000
Location College Park, MD
Matching Funders BASF
Program Accelerated Crop Breeding
While gene editing technology has improved crop breeding and adaptation, the process of regrowing a plant from edited cells is costly, lengthy and unpredictable. Many popular crops are difficult to regenerate with existing methods. Researchers at the University of Maryland are developing a CRISPR-Combo system that will use CRISPR gene editing technology to kick-start the regeneration process.
FFAR award amount $1,997,454
Total award amount $3,997,423
Location Minneapolis, MN
Matching Funders Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Cargill, Friends of the Mississippi River, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, NORI, The Land Institute, Walton Family Foundation
FFAR award amount $387,556
Total award amount $387,556
Location West Lafayette, IN
Matching Funders Open Philanthropy
Plant-based protein alternatives are a rapidly expanding market. Soy and pea proteins can closely replicate the texture of meats, but they lack the chewy quality of meat, known as viscoelasticity, which creates a tender bite. Researchers at Purdue University are studying the viscoelasticity of a corn protein, zein, to develop a new commercial meat substitute.
Matching Funders Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Cargill, Friends of the Mississippi River, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, NORI, Pipeline Foods, The Land Institute, Walton Family Foundation
Summer crops such as wheat, rice, and corn can be profitable for farmers, but post-harvest farmland is unproductive for several months during the off-season. Fallow land can accumulate a variety of water-related challenges, including soil nutrient loss and erosion and precipitation runoff. However, continuous living cover crops can prevent these challenges and maintain land in the off-seasons. The University of Minnesota is developing models for sustainable supply chains that create markets for crops farmers can grow between seasons.
FFAR award amount $900,000
Year Awarded 2020
Total award amount $3,272,723
Location Berkeley, CA
Matching Funders 2Blades Foundation, Innovative Genomics Institute
Program Seeding Solutions
There are millions of Americans who do not know where their next meal comes from. To combat food insecurity, Feeding America is evaluating the effect of the Regional Produce Cooperative, a model that provides a greater variety of produce to food banks at a lower cost, on the charitable food system.
FFAR award amount $748,549
Total award amount $1,497,098
Location Ames, IA
Matching Funders Iowa State University, KWS SAAT SE & Co, Beck’s Superior Hybrids, BASF, SAATEN-UNION BIOTEC and RAGT
On average, it takes farmers ten years to produce a new crop. With an increasing global population, there is high demand for more crops sooner. Iowa State University researchers are developing breeding methods that accelerate plant breeding for multiple crop species. These breeding techniques deliver improved crop varieties – with greater yields – into the hands of farmers sooner.
Total award amount $100
Location Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Delbruck Building, 1 Bungtown Road
Matching Funders Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Zachary Lippman was awarded the 2020 National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture for his work to increase crop productivity in the face of declining agricultural land and population growth through novel gene editing techniques.
FFAR award amount $1,000,000
Total award amount $1,000,000
Location Davis, California
The future of agriculture requires producing more food on less land in an environmentally sustainable manner. Ensuring global nutritional security depends in large part on plants that are more efficient at producing calories and protein than livestock. However, centuries of crop domestication have limited the genetic capacity to improve widely consumed crops to meet these needs. NuCicer is introducing greater genetic diversity into chickpea varieties. This research is increasing protein content and quality and developing other desirable agronomic traits in chickpeas.
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